After some consideration, my husband and I decided to go on a last-minute trip to Slovenia this year. We’ve passed through the country on our way to Croatia before, and we wanted to find out what it has to offer. Green forests, mysterious mountains, emerald green rivers, waterfalls, a wine valley, lots of culture, even a tiny Mediterranean coast – it’s an ideal mix of everything.
We left on Saturday, after Belgium’s consolation game in which the Red Devils scored a beautiful victory against England. One long road trip later, we arrived at our little house on a hill near the coast. We were very close to the Croatian border, so we thought it’d be a good idea to watch the World Cup finals there. We quickly dropped off our bags and drove off to Croatia – after the drive from Belgium, one extra hour in the car wouldn’t kill us.
Unfortunately, Croatia didn’t win, but we were thrilled to soak up the atmosphere all the same. Everyone sang their hearts out and waved the national flag. People even set off Bengal light and beer flowed copiously. After a while, we decided it was time to drive back to our accommodation and go to bed.
Our planning for the next days consisted of visiting towns and relaxing at the beach. As it happened, my cousins turned out to be on holiday not too far from us: they were at Lake Garda in Italy. We decided to spend a day together, and since there wasn’t much to do in the middle of the distance between our location and theirs, we decided to join them at Lake Garda. That turned out to be a 3.5-hour drive. Oops! But we had an unforgettable day: we went water skiing for the first time in our lives – and yes, we also rode an inflatable banana.
Lazy holidays at the beach aren’t our thing; we prefer to fill our vacations with sports and activities. Luckily, Slovenia’s Julian Alps are the ideal destination for adventurous travellers. We wanted to go canyoning in Bovec, so we followed an experienced colleague’s advice and chose Fratarica as our canyon.
It took some serious climbing to reach the top (I had sorely overestimated my physical condition), after which we spent three hours clambering back down via the rocks and the river. The trek involved abseiling, sliding and jumping, but the real highlight was being lowered down a 50-metre-high waterfall with a rope. It was nerve-wracking, but we survived it.
Slovenia is also full of caves, many of which are open to the public. The one we chose to explore was Škocjan, an impressive cave that reaches a depth of 120 m with a 2.5 km path to explore. And it was cool, too - the 12 °C inside was a welcome change after several weeks of +30 °C weather.
On one of our last nights, we decided to meet up with my Xylos colleague Alexander, who was in Croatia with his family. They were staying roughly half an hour away from us. A drink on the terrace at sundown, dinner in a cozy seaside restaurant and a cocktail or two (or three) with a breathtaking view of the sea.
It was the perfect way to end our vacation in this beautiful country. I can’t wait to go back!
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